I sometimes refer to myself as a closet sociologist, mostly because I find myself looking at some of the outcomes of social media. Sure, I’ve always got “SocMed” on the brain! The past many years, I’ve been observing a few side affects of the evolution of the social web. One of them appears to be the reemergence of family values.
What kind of took me by surprise, though it shouldn’t have, was that this rediscovery of family and simpler things is mostly from Gen Y. Interestingly, the technologies that fueled web 2.0 and the social web have allowed us to finally start using computers for solving real societal needs – like those of connecting with family, friends and peers. Allowing us to share what we’re doing and how we’re feeling and what we think. Back in the “old days” that required a phone call or a visit. Think about the power of 140 characters in Twitter and how it can replace a 20 min. long distance phone call from one of those stationary wired telephones we used to have.
The ability of the social web to not only answer that question, but many, many others is mind-blowing to say the least. That’s the tip of the iceberg too as we continue to have many brilliant combinations of ideas (mashups!) come to the market to offer solutions we only dreamed of years ago – or maybe saw it on The Jetsons.
What I really find facinating though is the return to the simpler pleasures of family and friends by the latest generation. As they’ve emerged from college and started taking on the daunting role of becoming the largest portion of the workforce in the U.S. today, they’ve been able to show a lot of class in the process. Sure there are the gamer/slackers among them (and Gen X too!), and some fascinating entrepreneurs as well. Every generation has them.
However, its these savvy, digital natives that focus on family, integrity and professionalism that impress me the most. We’ve been told for decades how the Boomers had changed the world, and ushered in a new age of enlightenment. How the generation before them – the Greatest Generation, as it were, tackled so many difficult issues and problems. I suggest that the world that Gen Y is entering adulthood is no less troubled and stressed – in many ways we never thought possible even 20 years ago.
The interesting thing is how this youngest generation, has the potential to change the world in ways the Boomers never could, and doing it from a position of integrity, focusing on family, and being transparent. Its who they are – as natural to them as the iPhone in their hand.
Photo Credit: Maureen Shaughnessy